The first thing i do when i get on a plane is to ask for a blanket. Because the worst thing that can happen to you in a cold cabin is not having something to cover yourself.
But why does it have to be this way? Why do airlines keep the cabin temperature so low? Well, surprisingly enough, the House of Lords (UK Parliament) conducted a report on Science and Technology and Section 5 covers just that: Cabin temperature.
Here’s what Airbus and Boeing had to say on this issue. (the article continues after the ad)
EXPLANATION BY AIRBUS
As strange as it may sound, it’s all about keeping the cabin pleasant. As noted by Airbus Industrie:
“The heat given off by passengers in a fully occupied cabin is considerable. Incoming air needs to be at or below the required cabin temperature if that temperature is to be maintained. The cabin temperature is set according to seating zone from the flight-deck with a range of control from 18-27ºC (64.4°F-80.6°F), and is normally maintained in the range 22-24ºC (71.6°F-75.2°F), the same as that found in many office environments.”
BOEING ON CABIN TEMPERATURE
It’s important here to note that there are no regulatory standards for the temperature on a plane’s cabin. According to Boeing, there’s one more reason as to why passengers feel cold on a plane:
“Because passengers are normally in repose and cabin crew are working, their perceptions of thermal comfort are likely to be different. Cabin crew may feel uncomfortably hot and change dress accordingly.”
Of course, as noted in the supplementary material submitted by Boeing, flight crew normally change cabin temperatures in response to cabin crew requests based on passenger representations about their personal comfort.
BUT THERE’S MORE…
On a more scientific note, a 2008 study published on American Society for Testing and Materials, found that people on board an airplane are more likely to faint in a warm cabin due to hypoxia, a medical condition fairly common among airline passengers that occurs when body tissue does not receive enough oxygen.
So yeah, even though we all hate it, keeping the cabin a little too cool is for our own good. Just remember to ask for that blanket when you get on board with your shorts and flip flops.
If you like what you read, then you will definitely love this one: If Airlines Banned Smoking, Why Do New Airplanes Still Have Ashtrays?
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Sources: Science and Technology – Fifth Report | Fainting Passengers: The Role of Cabin Environment